Antibiotic Resistance: a problem for both the individual and the community
During July's GC Skeptics in the Pub, Dr Mina Bakhit spoke about his PhD and post-doctoral work in antibiotic resistance.
While the discovery of antibiotics has been one of the great successes in modern medicine, we are now know that too many antibiotics is really "too much of a good thing"!
Over use of antibiotics (that is, using them when they won't really make a difference, such as with viral infections) can quickly result the bacteria in your body becoming resistant to antibiotics. This means that if you get sick again due to a bacterial infection there is a chance that the antibiotics won't work.
What's worse is that you could pass on the resistant bacteria to your family and friends. While antibiotic resistance decays with time and out bacteria "go back to normal", if we keep using antibiotics the way we are currently we will be back at the pre-antibiotic era by 2050.
Mina is at the front line trying to stop this from happening.
His work focuses on trying to ensure that when antibiotics are used, they are used when they need to be, and not handed treated like a panacea.
Some tips from Mina to help us all fight antibiotic resistance:
To prevent infections, hand hygiene and physical barriers are key. If you don't get sick, you probably won't need antibiotics!
If you are feeling unwell, don't worry and wait. You can also treat the symptoms with over the counter medications. There are lots of things out there that can help with symptoms, have a chat with your community pharmacist for advice (this last tip is from Dr Paulie!).
If you decide to go to your GP for antibiotics, as them three questions:
What are my options?
Pros and cons of each option?
What happens if I don’t do anything?
Listen to Mina's talk: click here
Slides: click here
About the speaker
Dr Mina Bakhit
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Research Excellence on Minimising Antibiotic Resistance in the Community (CRE-MARC), Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare (IEBH), Bond University
Dr Bakhit is a medical doctor who has recently completed his PhD in antibiotic resistance. He is now continuing this work as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Research Excellence on Minimising Antibiotic Resistance in the Community, Bond University.
His key interests include evidence synthesis, shared decision making, and improving quality of reporting. His research focuses on patient-clinician communication and decision making about antibiotic use in primary care.